"Hey Konoe! How many shinigami does it take to change a light bulb?"
Watari is standing halfway up a ladder at the end of Konoe's bed, the glass shade from the ceiling light in his hands. With the only light now coming from his bedside lamp, Konoe cannot see the expression on Watari's face clearly, but the mischief in his voice is unmistakable.
Konoe shifts the thermometer his mouth from one side to the other.
"One to check the budget has room for a new light bulb..."
Watari steps carefully and quickly down the ladder, depositing the shade on the dresser before skipping back up the ladder with ridiculous speed.
"One to go shopping and forget halfway there and bring back a chocolate éclair instead... "
The spent light bulb becomes a new one through some sleight of hand. Watari hands the spent bulb to his owl, who sinks two feet under its weight, but managers to navigate the spiral downwards to fly over a waste paper basket. Konoe begins to suspect that some of this is a theatrical production for his benefit, but the thought pleases him.
"One to sense whether the light bulb really wants to change, of course."
Watari snickers outright, gripping the top of the ladder and rocking back on the balls of his feet. Then, he hops down a rung and leaps the rest, landing calmly on his feet and walking to the light switch. Konoe can't help admiring the resilience of youth; he would not be able to move so fast in such tightly fitting trousers.
In the renewed light, Watari grins with the satisfaction of a job well done. "Oh, and someone to order that the light bulb gets fixed in the first place," Watari adds, and it almost surprises Konoe to have that same radiant grin turned upon him.
Five minutes later, Watari has reattached the shade, moved the ladder back to Konoe's garage and returned to check Konoe's temperature, which he judges to be 'fine'. He then folds back the blanket along one side of the bed, reaching under to prod Konoe's cotton-covered hip and leg.
"You forgot one shinigami to invent an energy-saving light bulb," Konoe says.
"Too many already on the market," Watari answers. "I'd just change the damn light bulb while no one else was looking. Does that hurt?"
Watari insists that he has only a paramedic's skills, but Konoe prefers to keep his injury as in-house as possible. Now that the martial tournament was over, he could have called in a government physician but there is no longer any urgency. And regardless of professional training, Watari's touch is gentle enough where Konoe is tender.
"I think I can smell dinner," Watari says, leaning over Konoe to push back the rest of the blankets. "So, let's get you into a fresh yukata and go bug Tatsumi."
Seiichirou is standing in front of a pot on the stove, staring at something that is simmering vigorously. There is fog on his glasses when he turns from the stove to greet them.
Seiichirou has exchanged his suit jacket for a navy blue apron and rolled up his sleeves. He looks as though he's come straight from work; this is likely true, and likewise for Watari, though a turtleneck and jeans manage to look significantly more casual.
Yesterday, between reading one of Seiichirou's carefully composed reports and the sports section of the newspaper Watari brought, Konoe wondered what it was that his injury was keeping them from each night. However, today he has to admit that they are always punctual and their conversation rarely strays beyond work and office gossip. Tomorrow he may consider whether he has too much time to think.
Konoe can guess from much previous experience that they'll be having vegetable soup for dinner tonight -- Seiichirou does not think that there is any other appropriate food for a man in a sickbed. He will also probably make too much and pour the leftovers into small plastic containers that he will place beside similar containers in Konoe's freezer, marking each with today's date.
Is it any wonder that Konoe asked Watari to stay that first night, when Seiichirou seem to have expected that Watari would leave as soon as his doctor's duties were discharged? True, he's used to only Seiichirou looking after him, but the last time something like this happened was in the sixties and Watari was in diapers.
Tonight is the third night that they've all met like this, and instead of implying that Watari should leave, Seiichirou asks him to set the table.
Konoe's wife would have spoken about Seiichirou as the sort of person who was waiting to make some man very happy, though she would have found the fact that he was a man himself very strange. Knowing what he does of Seiichirou's interests, Konoe thinks Meiko would have been right regardless. When he catches movement out of the corner of his eye, he is almost certain that Seiichirou has co-opted the shadows of his house into cleaning duty.
They discovered the first night that with Watari there, it was difficult to play cards, and so on the second night they'd rented a movie. Watari talked the whole way through-- he'd chosen the movie, so he was the only one who'd seen before. Seiichirou slept through it, denying afterwards that he had done any such thing even though his head had rolled onto his neighbour. Konoe didn't mind because it was his couch and he could insist upon sitting in the middle.
Perhaps tonight after dinner, they can find something else to watch.
Watari leaves him at the kitchen table and steps up behind Seiichirou. The bowls are in the cupboard next to Seiichirou's head, but that doesn't seem to be his goal. Watari leans a little to the side, snakes his arm round to the pot and poises his fingers to taste. Seiichirou strikes out with the wooden spoon in his hand, sharply rapping Watari over the knuckles.
Seiichirou looks more shocked than Watari does in the brief moment before he turns back to the stove.
Watari walks back to the kitchen table and sits down across from Konoe, with his back still to Seiichirou. He then swipes his tongue across the sauce Seiichirou's spoon has left on his hand, entirely unselfconscious.
"I think it needs more salt," Watari calls, over his shoulder.
After several moments of silence, Seiichirou reaches for the pepper grinder. Watari grins and leans forward, his long hair framing his face, and then he winks at Konoe.
"I think it will need bowls more urgently, Watari-san," Seiichirou says, over his shoulder, though without turning. Konoe wonders whether Watari has figured out that Seiichirou can use the shadows to see behind him, but he's having too much fun to point it out.
Watari stands and (under Seiichirou's watchful eyes) finds bowls and cutlery and glasses, mostly without asking where to find them. Seiichirou gathers the bowls off the table as soon as Watari sets them down and begins serving their meal.
The circumstances are less than ideal, but Konoe has to admit that it is pleasant to have such attractive young men around his house.